If the kid from Blank Check grew up to make a sequel to Step Brothers, the result might look something like Room For Rent. Canadian comedy riser Mark Little stars as Mitch, a live-at-home bum who won $3.5 million as a teenager and squandered it all on ludicrous patents and inventions. The added financial strain he puts on his parents is going to force them to sell their house. Rather than find a job and contribute, Mitch decides to rent out the spare bedroom that used to house all his unsold merchandise. Enter Carl (Brett Gelman), a well-timed traveler and another would-be entrepreneur. Mitch's parents are resistant at first, but Carl quickly wins them over with his manners, his helpful attitude, and, most of all, his huge wad of cash.
Writer-director Matthew Atkinson sets up enough ridiculous scenarios to get the gears of laughter turning, but — aside from a great shot that hilariously holds for a few seconds too long on a sloshing waterbed — the filmmaking is mostly a non-presence. The two leads generate most of the humour through personas they have established throughout previous roles. Carl is somewhat of a dandy, a personality made delightfully ominous when filtered through Gelman's trademark brand of approachable mischief and his twisted smile. To Mitch, Little brings a honed mix of cluelessness and incredulity, as if he thinks he's the smartest guy in the room but is still surprised that anyone could be dumber that him. Diehard comedy fans will also appreciate the presence of MADtv's Stephnie Weir and Kids in the Hall's Mark McKinney as Mitch's parents. With so much talent versed in a shorter format, it's not that surprising that Room For Rent feels like a 90-minute sketch, but it's a pretty funny one.
Part of our AIFF 2017 Review Roundup.